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Although the predecessor of this website predates the current development of the Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland, the contents of Languages without Limits are concordant with the principles and practice which underpin CfE. Where the concordance is strong this will be indicated and you will find many links to Learning and Teaching Scotland's websites.

The primary aim of Languages without Limits is to support teachers whose role it is to support foreign language teachers in their efforts to make effective provision for learners of all abilities. The most obvious links, therefore, are with the CfE documents that deal with Modern Languages, Inclusion and Equality and Supporting Learners. Just as important, however, are the curriculum links and enhancements which also feature on this site; in particular, topics which focus on Citizenship and Study Skills.


Learning and Teaching Scotland's document Supporting Learners: Self Reflection Resource makes a useful distinction between universal support and targeted support. It contends that there is a continuum of support from universal to targeted which meets the needs of all learners.

Universal support

The LTS document says of universal support:

Supporting learning underpins the delivery of Curriculum for Excellence for all children and young people and it is the responsibility of all practitioners and partners to deliver this universal entitlement within their own teaching environments.

Support includes... how practitioners, when planning and delivering their teaching, consider learning styles, aptitudes, opportunities for achievement and challenge...

Universal support is pro-active. It is concerned with developing methods and procedures that have potential to meet the learning needs and styles of a broader range of abilities.

Targeted support

The document says of targeted support:

Children and young people can benefit from additional or targeted support, tailored to their individual circumstances...

Barriers to learning may arise from, for example, specific learning difficulties, disability, social, emotional or behavioural needs, bereavement or family issues, etc. Additional support may also be required to ensure progress in learning for the most able, looked after children and young people, young carers, Armed Forces, Gypsies and Travellers, asylum seekers and those for whom English is not a first language.

Targeted support is re-active. It is concerned with developing methods and procedures that provide effective responses to particular learning needs that have been identified. However, methods and procedures which prove to be successful with targeted learners often prove effective for other learners too and can then be pro-actively incorporated into universal support. It is a contention of this Languages without Limits site that, as universal support improves, the need for targeted support is reduced.

Professional development

With regard to professional development, the LTS report says:

Supporting learners is the responsibility of all staff and partners.

In describing good practice, it says that:

Staff learning and professional development is collaborative and collegiate.

High quality assessment, monitoring and tracking processes to identify individual needs are in place.

It asks:

What barriers may affect a child or young person's ability to thrive and learn? How aware are all staff and partners of these?

How do we ensure coherent links between specialist support staff, partners and teachers?

What opportunities are available for staff and partners to engage in joint staff development?



Pages on this site which focus on universal or targeted support, and on collaborative professional development are listed below so that you can quickly link to an appropriate page.

Modern Language teachers who are at the early stages of developing inclusive strategies are advised to look at targeted support first, as a way of learning to understand the concept of barriers to learning, to gain experience in identifying barriers and to build a cooperative professional relationship with members of Learning Support staff.

Links to pages reflecting other CfE themes can be found at the foot of this page.


Introduction – What is inclusive practice? How can we meet all those needs?
Meeting learners' needs – Needs all learners share
Managing learning in mixed ability classes
Structuring learning: the 5-stage cycle – The importance of consolidation
The importance of teaching phonics – If we fail to teach phonics we are condemning many of our learners to be quasi-dyslexic in the foreign language
Using the target language in the classroomHow can teachers meet the needs of all learners as well as complying with guidelines on target language use?
Active and multisensory approaches – What is multisensory learning?
Capturing language – supporting memory (in preparation)
Nurturing independence in learning (in preparation)
Collaborative learning (in preparation)
Workshop 4 Talking to learners about barriers
Workshop 10 What is inclusive provision?
Workshop 11 Meeting learners' needs: How am I doing?
Workshop 12 Structuring learning: Auditing current practice
Workshop 13 Using the target language: Communicative principles
Workshop 14
Enriching experience (in preparation)


Why aren't they learning? – Understanding barriers to learning
Some common barriers – and some suggestions for tackling them
Prerequisite skills – We must be prepared to start from where learners are, and not from where we would like them to be
Additional support needs – Introduction
Gifted and talented learners – Many pupils with disabilities are intellectually able
Learners with English as an additional language – and bilingual learners
Learners with dyslexia
Learners on the autism spectrum
Learners with speech, language and communication difficulties
Learners with Down's syndrome
Learners who are deaf
Learners who have a visual impairment
Learners with other specialised needs

Motivation, behaviour and learning

Using ICT to include learners with additional support needs
Workshop 2 Another way of looking at barriers to learning
Workshop 3 Copying as a potential barrier


Working together to support learning – Professional collaboration
orkshop 5 Working together: Where do we start?
Workshop 6 Working together: Planning support for learners in difficulty
Workshop 7 Planning support for learners with dyslexia
Workshop 8 Planning support for learners on the autism spectrum
Workshop 9 Planning support in MFL for learners who are deaf

Maximising Potential – Supplementary support for the LTS project
Project Archives – Documentation from earlier projects
Reference – Includes links to CfE websites and documents


Inclusion and equality
Why teach a second language to learners who are already struggling to master their mother tongue? Why?
Why teach languages to learners of all abilities?
Workshop 1

Cross curriculum themes: Citizenship
aking links a wider curriculum Languages plus
Using local communities as a resource Linking locally
Global citizenship Linking with the wider world
Interdisciplinary working In-school links
Planning links Workshop 15

Talking to learners about barriers to learning Workshop 4
Starting from where learners are, not from where we would like them to be Prerequisite skills
Promoting learner ownership and reflection
Structuring learning Capturing language

Links to SQA and LTS resources for assessment at Access levels Certification
Help with planning Access levels in Modern Languages Workshop 16

About Modern Language learning...

... Another equally damaging myth is the notion that language learning is only suited to the more academically-able pupils. Numerous studies have demonstrated that languages can be made accessible to all learners, and, more importantly, that all learners can benefit from language learning. Appropriate pedagogy, differentiated to meet individual learning needs, can ensure success in foreign language learning even for those with additional support needs.

Extract from Modern Languages Excellence Report, February 2011 (page 8)


[links last checked 7.11.12 unless otherwise indicated]

Modern Languages Excellence Report

Education Scotland website
Education Scotland is the national body responsible for supporting quality and improvement in Scottish education. This website provid new agency.
Until the creation of the new agency, Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS) was the body responsible for reviewing the curriculum, developing assessment to support learning and providing national guidance on the use of ICT to support learning and teaching. In the short term, information on most aspects of support for curriculum areas, learning across the curriculum, assessment, approaches to learning and partnership working will continue to be found on the Learning and Teaching Scotland online service.

Supporting learners
Information leaflet on delivering the entitlement to support jn Curriculum for Excellence

Scottish CILT
SCILT has created a new area on its website to host key documents and presentations on CfE from HM Inspectors and other key partners. These include a simplified version of the ML Es and Os, a guide on standard setting and a number of HM presentations for both primary and secondary practitioners.

CfE Briefings
A series of briefings designed to provide practitioners with information and advice to support their implementation of Curriculum for Excellence.

Language Learning in Scotland : A 1+2 Approach
Languages Working Group Final Report and Recommendations. (Scottish Government 17.5.12)
Full report and associated documents:

Curriculum for Excellence Briefing 4: Interdisciplinary learning
This Curriculum for Excellence briefing explores interdisciplinary learning, how it can be planned and how you can take it forward.

[26.11.12] Scottish Government response to the Report of the Languages Working Group
Published November 2012

[1.10.14] Key Curriculum Support for CfE


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